Liz pushed Zan away, and this time he let her. He dropped his hands to his sides and he took a couple of steps back.
She was embarrassed that he’d rejected her again, but she brazened through it. She lifted her chin and looked him in the eyes. “You wish.”
He smiled. “There’s my fighter.”
She shrugged. “I’m not your anything.”
His eyebrows rose slightly, but he didn’t respond to her statement. Instead, he motioned to the side of the garage bay. “Why don’t we go upstairs and I’ll make us some lunch.”
“You live here?” she asked horrified, wondering if the age-old dirt and dust of the garage bay and office extended into his living area.
He nodded. “Upstairs.”
She looked to where he indicated and for the first time saw a door.
Her brow creased in confusion. “I’ve never noticed that before,” she said, her voice getting softer, until she practically whispered the last, “but it kind of blends into the wall.”
One of the things she had always been proud of was her attention to detail, and to discover that she’d completely failed to see a door was shocking to her. Had she been so consumed by her pain and grief that she’d overlooked it? She knew her senses had been dulled a bit, but it made her wonder what else she’d missed.
Zan cupped her elbow, bringing her out of her contemplation. “Lunch?” he asked.
She was still a little dazed by her realization and simply nodded, going with him to the door, which he opened with his powers.
Stepping inside, she first noticed that there were no walls separating the other bays and it was opened up into one big space. And she wasn’t really surprised to see the red convertible Zan had driven yesterday, but there were six other cars as well. All were sport-type cars and all looked to be from the fifties and sixties. They were in practically every color in the rainbow and in perfect condition.
She certainly wasn’t an aficionado of cars, but she appreciated their beautiful shapes and the work Zan had obviously put into them. “They’re like works of art,” she said.
“Thanks,” he said proudly. “I saved every one of them from a junkyard and used a little hocus pocus to make them like they were.”
He motioned to some framed pictures on the wall. “These are before pictures.”
She went closer, examining each one. Some of the cars in the photos were in grassy fields, others were in muddy junkyards sandwiched between other cars, but all of them were just rusted heaps. They had smashed or missing windows and lights, rotted seats and dented or twisted shapes. Most were in such bad shape you could barely make out the original color.
Liz turned from the photos to the restored cars, studying each one intently, and after a few long minutes she spoke. “It’s obvious that even though you used your powers, you put a lot of work into these,” she said sincerely, meeting his eyes. “You must have had to do a lot of research and spent a lot of time to make the cars look like you did.”
He nodded, holding her gaze. “That was half the fun,” he said, “and I loved doing it. These cars are a passion of mine, like you said, works of art, and I love being able to make them live again.”
She stiffened as his words hit home. It was similar to what he’d said to her before, ‘It’s a good feeling, fixing something’. She had assumed he’d been talking about her, but now she wasn’t so sure. Had she been correct in her conclusion or did she own him an apology?
Focusing on him again, she noticed that he was watching her closely, and realized she must have zoned out for a minute. She gave him a small smile. “You did a really nice job. You must be proud.”
“Yeah,” he agreed.
Looking around, she noticed that it was a lot cleaner than the bay where he did his work. This was a collector’s garage not a dirty workroom. Like the cars, the garage bays had been cleaned and restored and she held more hope for his home.
Together they went up the stairs and Liz couldn’t have been more surprised. Zan’s apartment was not only clean, but large windows let the sunlight pour in. The furnishings were all in good condition, masculine but comfortable and homey, certainly more so than her own Spartan existence. A large TV was the focus of one wall, but there were books on shelves, and even some knick-knacks.
“I don’t know what I expected,” she said at last, “but this wasn’t it.”
He chuckled. “Did you think it would look like a biker bar on Monday morning?” he asked amused. “All dark and smoky, black walls covered with graffiti, cigarette butts and broken bottles on every surface, sticky floors?”
“Maybe,” she said with a shrug. “I really hadn’t given it too much thought. Like maybe you only start to exist when you show up at my place and you don’t really live anywhere.”
His eyebrow rose. “Of course I live somewhere. I’m a real person.”
“I know,” she said quickly, afraid she’d offended him. “I didn’t mean it like that. I just-“
He cut her off. “You just didn’t ever think it through that far,” he finished for her.
It seemed like he was on the verge of saying something, but then changed his mind. “So what do you want for lunch?” he asked.
“I’m not really hungry,” she said with a shrug.
“But,” he drawled, “you are going to eat.”
He led her to the kitchen and before she realized it he’d grasped her by the waist and lifted her onto a barstool at the counter. He went to the other side and opened the refrigerator, gathering a few things. “You can’t say no to homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese.”
Liz found herself surprised again. “You make soup?” she asked, and then answered her own question. “Well I guess you’d have to pick up some domestic skills over the years.”
“Or eat takeout every meal,” he said, “which gets boring more quickly than you’d think.”
“Can I help?” she asked, starting to get off the stool.
Holding out a hand, he shook his head. “No thanks. Just relax. I’ve got this.”
With a shrug she settled back onto the stool and watched his efficient movements. He filled two bowls with soup, passing his hand over them to heat them, and Liz watched appreciatively as steam started to rise from them. Then he quickly constructed two sandwiches, slathering butter on them before adding the cheese.
Liz started to tell him that you were supposed to cook the bread before adding the cheese, but another pass of his hand over the sandwiches heated them and turned them a crispy brown.
Before her he placed a plate with her hot lunch before turning to the refrigerator. “What do you want to drink?” he asked over his should as he opened it.
She couldn’t seem to stop herself from examining him while he wasn’t looking. It was just habit, she told herself, looking at men, sizing them up, picking them apart.
His tight t-shirt stretched across his shoulders and muscular arms and she felt her throat going dry. She felt a rush of desire, and it was no wonder. He was definitely built.
He called out her choices, “Coke, Dr. Pepper, juice?” He bent down, digging on a low shelf. “I think I have some lemonade back here somewhere.”
She practically gasped as his jeans molded to his sculpted ass and thighs. Her core pulsed with need and she though how good it would feel to have him. Just like in her fantasy. Instantly an image filled her mind of her hands grasping his perfect butt as he pounded into her.
Suddenly Zan turned to face her, and as their eyes met, a cocky smile raised one corner of his mouth. He knew she’d been looking at him.
Liz blushed, completely embarrassed, but held his gaze. His smile got wider as he motioned over his shoulder, “Drink?”
She realized he had already asked her and she’d forgotten because she was thinking about his body and how much she wanted him. She couldn’t even remember what he’d offered her. “Just water,” she said breathlessly.
He gave her a wink before turning to fill a glass.
She felt like she wanted to sink through the floor. The last thing she wanted was for him to know that he turned her on.
Trying to act casual, she put a spoon in her soup and stirred, not looking at him as he placed the water in front of her.
He took a seat next to her and she was afraid he would try to talk to her about it, but he stayed silent and started eating. After a few minutes she relaxed enough to take a few bites. The food was surprisingly good and even though she hadn’t been hungry before, she ate it all.
Without a word he took their dishes and started to clean the kitchen.
Liz looked up at Zan as he worked and felt another rush of desire. Those stupid fantasies were really getting to her. It didn’t help that he was so damn good looking. Of course he was Max’s double, so he was already imprinted in her brain.
But as her eyes ran over him, she was able to pick out some small differences. His clothes and hair were different, of course, and the tattoos and piercing set him apart, but there were other things. Zan had a small scar on his cheek, and she swore that his eyes were a bit darker. The shape of his mouth seemed a little different too, more full and sensual. And when he’d been holding her earlier she’d wondered if perhaps he wasn’t just a bit taller.
Maybe for the first time she really saw him as who he really was. Zan. Not Max’s double, but an entirely different person.
It was ridiculous but her body hummed with desire for him. She wanted to rip off his clothes and make good use of his nice, hard cock. She could imagine him filling her up and pounding into her until she came again and again.
But it wasn’t just him, she reminded herself, any guy would do. She was only thinking of him because of those stupid fantasies.
She sensed him turning toward her and lowered her gaze, trying to get herself under control. When she thought she was more composed, she looked up at him.
“So princess,” he started casually, leaning against the counter, “now that the Bel Air is gone, maybe you might want to pick out a car for yourself, and we could fix it up.”
The suggestion completely surprised her, and she instantly rejected it. “I have a car,” she blurted out.
He shrugged. “Sure, but it looks like it won’t make it another six months without a major overhaul.”
Flustered she shook her head. “Well, we can fix it up when if something goes wrong.”
“We could,” he agreed, “but I thought you could get a car you really liked, fix it how you want, make it any color you want.”
“I like my car,” she said defensively.
He cocked his head, and reluctantly she smiled. “Okay,” she admitted, “it’s not a great car, but it’s fine.”
She held his gaze, studying him intently, but she didn’t know what to think. He wanted to get her a car? It didn’t make any sense. She admitted to herself that it had been fun to fix the Bel Air, and it was his ‘hobby’ but there had to be more to it. Didn’t there?
What did he want?
Zan walked around the counter, going to a desk she hadn’t noticed and picked up a laptop. He came to sit next to her again and placed the computer in front of her, opening it.
A folder was open and Liz saw that it contained pictures of cars. Some were older styles and some she recognized as being brand new. Some were sporty, some were just regular looking, and she even saw an SUV.
He motioned to the screen. “Is there a car you really like?
She shrugged. “I never really thought about it.”
“Well,” he continued, “we can look at some pictures and see if anything catches your eye.”
She shrugged again, but he double-clicked the first image in the folder, opening it in a larger size in a photo viewer.
Slowly Zan clicked through the images, but Liz barely saw them. She was too busy thinking about what his motivations could be.
Blurs of different colors appeared on the screen, and every once in a while one would register in her mind; red, black, yellow, blue, black again, but she didn’t see any details. She was thinking too hard.
Did Zan think it would help him get in her pants if he gave her a car?
No. She had basically offered herself to him, but he’d rejected her.
Green, white, another blue.
What was he hoping to gain?
Yellow, another white, red.
Her eyes suddenly focused on the car on the screen. She actually recognized it. A mini Cooper. It was cute, but just a quickly as she noticed it, she dismissed it. The car wasn’t important.
Black, cream, a different blue, silver.
She wracked her brain, coming up with one outrageous scenario after another but she couldn’t come up with a single reason why he’d want to give her a car.
White, red, green.
A soft, creamy yellow suddenly caught her attention, and the car it was painted on held it.
It was a convertible, maybe from the sixties, and it had a long, elegant hood with softly rounded details. She thought she’d seen Audrey Hepburn driving one in a movie she watched with Maria when they were freshmen.
A pang of guilt and pain ripped through her. She hadn’t thought of Maria in a long time, and felt tears gathering in her eyes. But she pushed them aside, focusing back on the car.
It reminded her of a simpler and happier time before aliens, and FBI, and Alex being killed, and betrayals, and Max . . .
Zan’s voice broke into her thoughts. “Do you like that one?”
His words brought her back to the present, but she really didn’t register what he said. She refused to look at him. She didn’t want him to see her crying.
“What?” she said, pretending to be interested in her glass of water.
“The car,” he said. “Do you like it?”
She shrugged, shaking her head. “It’s okay.”
“Just okay,” he asked, cupping her cheek, and turning her head to make her look at him. “You deserve something you really like,” he said softly. “Something special.”
Instantly she was filled with pain as images filled her head. She felt tears in her eyes again and pulled away from him. “I don’t deserve anything.”
“Of course you do,” he said. “Everyone deserves a little happiness.”
He smiled sadly as he came to her, gently holding her shoulders as he spoke softly. “For so long you’ve been all wrapped up in your pain, and life is passing you by.”
She held herself rigid in his hands. “What do you mean?”
“It’s like you’ve closed yourself off to everything and everyone around you,” he said softly. “You don’t want to let anyone in.
“So because I didn’t wonder about where you lived, I’m closed off?” she asked stiffly.
“No,” he said calmly. “But you know this pain is tainting every part of your life.”
She opened her mouth, but he shook his head, cutting her off.
“I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, not all the time. It’s a survival mechanism. Narrowing your focus to just the important things in your life helps you cope, but princess it’s been six months. It’s time for you to start living again.”
Instantly she was angry. “Don’t you think I want that? Don’t you think I wish this would all go away? But it’s not that easy. The only thing that makes me forget for even a little while is sex, and you’ve taken that away from me.”
She took a breath continuing, “You force me to stay at home, and all I have to do is think, which is exactly what I don’t want to do. I just want to forget.”
His eyes softened. “Isn’t that gift I gave you helping?”
“No,” she groaned, not even caring that she was admitting to him that she used it. “It just makes me realize what I really need.”
“Let’s go for a run then,” he suggested. “Not one of your crazy runs, but a long, slow run that will really wear you out.”
She shook her head stubbornly. “Only sex really helps. I need sex. I need to get fucked. I’m going crazy without it, and you are doing it to me. You have to let me go. You can’t force me to do what you want forever.”
“That’s not what you need,” he said softly. “Letting these random guys inside you is not going to help your pain. You need to talk about what happened and face it.”
She was so tired and frustrated of fighting him, not to mention sexually frustrated, and tears started in her eyes, but she stubbornly willed them away.
Zan’s eyes roamed over her face and he nodded. “But you’re right princess, in the end it’s your choice, and if it’s what you really want, I can’t stop you.”
He held her gaze. “So go out and fuck a guy or two, or hell, fuck half a dozen, but you know it’s not really going to help you.”
Her eyes narrowed as she looked at him, hardly believing what he was saying. “You’re just going to let me go? You’re not going to stop me? Knock me out and drag me back home?”
Zan shook his head. “No,” he said, his eyes never leaving hers. “Whatever happens tonight is your decision.”
She stared at him, not believing he’d give in that easily. What was he up to? He wanted her and she thought he was trying to save her for himself, but maybe she was wrong. Maybe he was tired of playing with her.
Finally she smiled. She still wasn’t sure if she believed him, but she was almost giddy with excitement. Finally she was going to get what she really needed, a hard cock, pounding the memories out of her.
She would have peace for a little while at least.
At nine o’clock she started her ritual of getting ready to go out. She selected her clothes carefully, matching bra and panties, micro-mini skirt, low-cut tank top that showed off her cleavage and her highest pair of heels. Tonight her hair was a deep cherry red, and she applied makeup to compliment it.
By ten o’clock she was ready and in a cab, headed to her destination, a club that had been open about six months in the heart of Hollywood. And it would be filled with sexy, pumped guys.
But her excitement was tempered.
Crowded streets are cleared away
One by One
As they drove, she kept looking in the rearview mirror because she expected to see one of Zan’s cars following them, or she at least expected to feel him near, but there was nothing. It was making her a bit paranoid.
But the closer they got to the club she began to relax and concentrate on what she’d come to do, and her body’s reaction.
And shit she was horny!
She was so wet and her slick passage literally pulsed with need. She felt hot and shivery, excited but nervous, and her breathing was fast. Every inch of her was begging to be touched and stimulated, but she also felt like a single caress would make her explode.
Hollow heroes separate as they run
In this land of make-believe, dead and dry
Finally they arrived, and as she exited the cab in front of the club she already was aware of several pair of male eyes roaming over her. It made her feel confident and sexy, but she dismissed them all immediately. Tonight she wanted something really special. Maybe she would even try to get two guys liked she’d planned before.
She could already picture it. She could spend the night with two hard cocks, going from one to the other, riding them over and over until she’d spent them both. That might satisfy her.
But as she imagined it, annoyingly Zan’s face kept appearing as the cocks’ owner.
Brutally pushing him out of her head, she went inside and shivered as the atmosphere closed in around her, comforting but arousing at the same time. This was her hunting ground, her place of power. Here she was in control of everything.
You're so cold keep your hand in mine
Wise men wonder while strong men die
As her eyes adjusted to the dark interior, she started looking for her prey of the night. Dark skin, light skin, blond, brunette, tall, short, thin, muscled, she had to see them all to make her choice.
She scanned the crowd, trying to examine each man, but she kept expecting to see Zan there, his face looming out of the darkness, his eyes focused intensely on her. A couple of times she thought she did see him, but each time she was mistaken.
Show me how it ends
Show me how defenseless you really are
Looking at a promising blond, she gasped, sure she saw Zan behind him, but it was just a trick of the light.
The back of a dark head with spiky hair gave her a few nervous moments, until her turned.
She found herself looking for him as she examined each of the guys’ faces, instead of doing what she came to do. Finally she stopped herself, shaking her head. Zan was nowhere in sight and she couldn’t feel him either. He wasn’t going to stop her.
satisfied and empty inside
Well, that's alright, let's give this another try
Trying to calm down, she focused her energy and concentrated on her task, finding a guy, or two, for the night.
After that, she only lapsed a couple of times when she found herself comparing the build of a few of guys to Zan, but told herself to snap out of it.
You're so cold, but you feel alive
Lay your hand on me one last time
It took her longer than usual, but she finally narrowed it down to four guys, two together and two alone. She did want her fantasy of two guys, but it could wait. More importantly, tonight was about getting back into the swing of things. And as she analyzed each candidate, she slowly felt her confidence returning.
Seeing the one guy attempt to dance, she instantly discarded him, and then focused on the remaining three.
The blond guy was ripped and he could dance, but there was something about him that just didn’t feel right, and she ignored him, turning to the other two.
They were together, and seemed to be good friends. They were definitely a possibility for her two-cock fantasy.
She examined them closely. They were both really built and they had good rhythm on the dance floor. She started undressing them in her mind, seeing those two glorious erections just waiting to impale her. It would feel so good.
But something just wasn’t right. She couldn’t put her finger on it but it just felt off.
Trying to think of what it could be, she studied the two guys for any sign of imperfection, but couldn’t find any. They met her guidelines exactly, but she trusted her instincts. If something felt wrong, it probably was.
“Fuck,” she snarled. She was horny as hell and she’d ruled out all the guys in the club. It had never happened to her before and she was unsure what to do about it.
Maybe she should just pick one of the guys and take a chance, or maybe another club. But she hadn’t planned on it and didn’t have her list of clubs with her.
But then another thought occurred to her. Maybe this was Zan’s fault. Maybe all that stuff he’d been saying about how this wasn’t good for her was making her hesitate.
“Bastard,” she growled. A shiver ripped through her and again she looked around, expecting to see him. Scanning the crowd carefully she examined each face, but there was nothing.
A feeling of disappointment settled over her. It didn’t matter how worked up she was if she couldn’t find the right guy. Maybe she should try again tomorrow.
Dejected and confused, she left the air-conditioned comfort of the club and stepped into the warm night, stopping immediately.
Somehow she wasn’t surprised to see Zan’s red convertible parked at the curb with him leaning against the passenger door. She met his eyes, expecting him to see a satisfied smile on his face or for him to gloat but he just stepped aside, and opened the door for her without saying a word.
She got in.